The characters in this story aren't mine, they belong to Rumiko Takahashi and other publications… I'm only here so I can practice my writing…lol… I do not own any of the characters and gains no profit from writing this story… so again please don't sue!… I already have enough problems managing bill payments…
Remember: Mz Kitty plus Ranma 1/2 equals no profit. Which means no money, So please get your lawyers out of my house or I'll be force to sic my dogs at them. Thank you and enjoy the story.
There is OOC's and potential shoujo-ai in the future instalments (because of Michiru and Haruka's relationship and another couple). There will also be a divergence to AU. You have been dutifully warned.
Italics means Thoughts.
Bold Italics means Emphasis on the word
Nabiki groggily woke up from her dreamless slumber. She was called to consciousness by an insistent masculine voice.
"Wakey, wakey sleepy head. It's time for training!" Ranma's too chirpy voice made it through her ears as he gently shook her.
Nabiki groaned and buried her head in her pillows. Maybe in doing so he would go away.
Ranma on the other hand was getting annoyed. You'd think after all this time Nabiki was used to waking up in the early mornings for their training. Normally it was Ami who would wake Nabiki, but today he was just too fired up and wanted to start their morning training a bit earlier.
"Well, you asked for it!" Ranma warned. He learned a few lessons in getting up when he was training with his father. It was either get up or be rudely waken up. After a couple of times it was finally ingrained in his head that when someone told you to get up, you just have to get up or face the unwanted consequences which normally involved being tossed into a pond or be waken up by cold water.
He was sure Nabiki wouldn't appreciate being waken up in the fashion he was used to, so he did the next best thing. He grabbed her blanket and pulled it off her. Hoping that the chill of morning air would wake her up, instead he was the one who was surprised.
He should have known that Nabiki didn't follow the etiquette of wearing bed clothes or pyjamas to sleep. Instead he was greeted by the sight of her creamy, smooth long legs. He could also see her pale blue panties since the over sized shirt she wore were hiked up above her navel.
Blood drained from Ranma's face as he let out a small shrill shriek. To make it worst, there was a knock from her bedroom door followed by a woman he had never seen before.
"Nabiki-dear are you alright?" the unfamiliar feminine voice asked in concern before letting herself in.
Mizuno Kaoru; mother of Mizuno Ami, has finally gotten her much desired day off. She felt really bad that for the last couple of weeks, she had yet to be able to spend time with her niece or her own daughter. Due to recent events of mysterious attacks that has been randomly happening in Juuban, she had little time to spare for them.
Now she can finally devote herself to spend time with her daughter and niece. She was about to wake up Nabiki when she heard a shriek from her niece's room which made her worry. She let herself in and was surprised to see a young man clutching a blanket to his person as though his life depended on it. His eyes wide in shock as he stared at her and then to the half naked Nabiki still on the bed.
Kaoru's eyes narrowed. "Who the hell are you and what in the world are you doing in Nabiki's room?" Kaoru demanded glaring at the pigtailed youth.
"It's not what you think!" Ranma immediately waved his arms wildly, knowing quite well what was probably going through the other woman's mind. He once again found his line of vision drift off to the still slumbering Tendo who was now in a foetal position trying to regain the warmth of the blanket which he was currently holding. "It's not what it looks like!" he once again protested, wishing that Nabiki would just wake up and clear his name.
Kaoru merely raised her delicately shaped eyebrow.
"Oh really?" Sounding dubious as her own line of vision drifted to Nabiki's half naked form, then back to the young man before her. She wondered what kind of parenting Soun had taught her beloved nieces. Kimiko wouldn't approve at such upbringing, that she was sure of.
"ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! I'M AWAKE DAMN IT!" Nabiki cried out, finally rousing from the cold draft of morning air and the voices in the room. She tried so hard to sought her most desired slumber but failed miserably. The cold morning air as well as the loud voices in her room didn't help her case, making her extremely irritable. Someone will pay for this, she made a mental note to herself.
She glared at Ranma's panic expression before following his gaze towards another figure in her room. More precisely, her very displeased looking aunt.
"Glad you're finally awake dear." Kaoru reproached her niece as she disdainfully glared at her state of dress. "Mind explaining what this guy is doing in your room?"
Nabiki merely groaned not bothering to cover up. What's the use when her blanket was still with Ranma?
But to her credit she did make an effort, pulling her t-shirt down to cover her bared mid-drift and tried to cover as much of herself as possible, or as much as the shirt's fabric could offer. This was not the type of impression she wanted to greet her aunt with. To top it all off, Ami decided to join in as well.
"Morning mother, morning Na… OH MY!" Ami cried out in surprise to see Nabiki's state and Ranma who still held the blanket.
"IT'S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!" Both Nabiki and Ranma cried out in unison.
To say that breakfast was awkward was an understatement. It was down right weird.
Breakfast in the Tendo was always a cacophony of noise and sounds with Akane and Ranma's bickering, Soun and Genma's voices coming up with schemes to get the two arguing teens to tie the knot, add other uninvited guests such as the Nerima wrecking crew for example and you have yourself one entertaining breakfast scenario.
Breakfast today at the Mizuno's was deafeningly silent. The only sound that could be heard was the faint scrapping of the utensils against each other and the plates.
Nabiki was amazed that Ranma had seemed to be too embarrassed to act normal and inhale his food at his usual rate. It was probably due to the fact that he no longer had to compete and defend his food from his gluttonous father. While Nabiki pondered about Ranma's recent food manners of etiquette, she realised that her food had slightly decreased in portion. Nabiki was sure she hasn't eaten that much for some of it to disappear but wondered if she was still a bit too sleepy to notice that she had eaten most of it.
Ranma on the other hand was doing his level best not to consume his food at the usual rate, not when Ami's mother seemed to look at him from time to time and glare at him. The look he was getting from her was varying from scrutinizing him for what he's worth to utter dislike and because of all the surprise and commotion in Nabiki's room, his appetite seemed to have amplified. Since Ranma couldn't really steal from Ami or her mother's plate, he opted in to stealing some from Nabiki's plate. Besides this is also training for her and it was her fault for that embarrassing situation earlier for not getting up early for training. He took a quick glance towards the middle Tendo and chuckled slightly to himself when he saw her look of confusion at her food. She looked quite cute with her slight frown, making her pout just a little.
"So, Saotome is it?" Kaoru asked the young man before her in suspicion. Taking a mental note of him sneaking glances at her niece.
Ranma almost choked on the food he was eating at the sudden attention Ami's mom gave him.
"Uhg?" He thumped his chest while Nabiki patted his back helping the food to bypass his throat. He drank the nearby glass of orange juice in a single gulp to clear his throat before finally answering Ami's mom who looked rather impatient and didn't look too concerned about him almost choking to death.
"Uhm, yeah. My name is Ranma, Saotome Ranma," then gave Kaoru a sheepish smile but Kaoru just ignored him as she narrowed her eyes.
By now, both Ami and Nabiki were exchanging subtle looks of concern as to why Kaoru was interrogating Ranma in such a way as though he had some sort of vile disease.
"Any relation to Saotome Genma?" Kaoru continued her questioning. There was something quite unnerving about the young man before her, it was probably due to having met the young man at such a compromising situation in her niece's room.
Ami had mentioned to her that Nabiki was staying over the duration of her studies in University and Kaoru couldn't help but eagerly accept for the chance of being close to one of her nieces once again. Because of her and Soun's discord, she had limited access to her nieces whom she treated as her own children. So when Ami had informed her that one of her nieces are to stay with them she was over the moon. She was too excited in fact that she ignored the rest of the news her daughter had told her about Akane's and Nabiki's friend who was also coming over to stay. She had never expected that her niece's so called "friend" to be a guy and seemed to be connected to the Saotome clan at that.
"He's my old man," Ranma answered casually which earned him another frown and disapproving stare from the older woman.
"I would have thought so…" Kaoru quipped at his casual response with a hint of loathing. "You must have gotten your looks from your mother then." she then added, trying to be more polite and courteous and rectify her last statement.
At the little comment her aunt made, Nabiki couldn't help but giggle. "You must have known Mr Saotome then Auntie?"
At her niece's question, Ami's mother seemed to have transformed as she sighed wistfully. Her answer seemed to be rather relaxed and playful to Nabiki.
"You have no idea Nabiki dear. I mean, I remember that one time your father came over our place and he brought his friend Saotome Genma with him," Kaoru once again sighed wistfully but paused as though she remembered something that she wasn't suppose to say or perhaps remembering something she'd rather forget.
"And then what auntie?" Nabiki asked curiously, eager to hear any stories relating to her aunt's past since it was related to her parents. Ranma was also interested in his old man's younger days as Genma hardly spoke about them.
"Let me just say that Saotome Genma sure left an impression and leave it at that," Kaoru smiled at Nabiki as she once again paid attention to her meal.
Nabiki wanted to question her aunt further but caught Ami's shaking head, telling her that it would be a pointless to try and question her mother any further.
"So Nabiki, have you visited the university already?"
"How did you find it?"
"It was quite enjoyable right up until I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine." Nabiki replied back as she grimaced, remembering the time she bumped into Kuno Tatewaki.
"That's great that you have another person you know attending the same university with you. I know for a fact that it's quite rare to have an old school friend to attend the same university because of the exclusivity and competitive selectiveness of each institution." Kaoru beamed at her niece, not noticing her grimace. She turned her attention on Ranma instead. "So young man, what are your plans while you are here?"
Again, Ranma noted the shift in Mrs Mizuno's tone of voice when questioning him. It was cold and impersonally polite compared to her sweet voice when asking Nabiki or Ami questions. He also noticed how her frown got impeccably bigger at the response he gave. "Plans?" he asked quizzically.
Nabiki almost choked on the food she had been eating and took a big gulp of orange juice to clear her throat. She saw her auntie's displeased expression and decided to intervene in Ranma's behalf.
"Ranma would be attending Ami's school to continue his studies aunty at Azubu," Nabiki answered for Ranma to placate her aunt.
"I see. So has he enrolled yet?" Kaoru turning her attention to her niece.
"Yes aunty, I believe Mrs Saotome had already sent the high school his transfer papers. He might even end up in Ami's class." Nabiki answered as she gave her aunty a small smile.
Kaoru then glanced at her daughter whom nodded for confirmation. She didn't know how to accept the young man in her home. It seemed that her niece and daughter are fond of him despite his paternal influence. Still, she needed to keep an eye on the pigtailed youth. He seemed to be too confident and good looking, a little brash and uncouth but there was a charming quality about him which made her immediately become protective of her daughter and niece.
He was a teenage male with raging hormones after all, the fact that he was in Nabiki's room while she was under dressed proves that the male was a pervert. If he was anything like Saotome Genma then she really needed to keep an eye on him for the sake of her own daughter and niece.
Somewhere else in Juuban,
Ariel woke up languorously. She immediately reached out to the space next to her and was surprised to find it empty. She looked around the dimmed room and found that she was all alone. She felt her skin run cold as an overwhelming feeling of abandonment washed over her. She tried to fight off the images of her childhood as she witnessed the intergalactic war between the planets, where countless amounts of her own people were killed.
She shut her eyes as she tried to push away the memories of her father, leaving her and her mother to go and rush to battle. She saw a brilliant flash of light which would have looked so beautiful if it wasn't for the resounding explosion that followed right after it, or the screams of terror and pain once it had subsided. She remembered the ground quaked at the might of the explosion. Her mother shielded her from the debris that collapsed on top of them.
She laid there underneath the rubble with her mother's body covering her frail body.
Tears began to fall from her eyes as she recalled, calling her mother's name. How weak her mother looked and how much pain she would have endured to keep her alive.
She cried even harder when she remembered her mother's body gradually began to loose it's warmth and how her mother had stopped cooing soothing words to calm her.
Ariel's hands turned into fists into anger. She was trapped underneath that rubble for three days, underneath all the rubble and her dead mother. Where was the queen? Where was the soldiers? The rescuers?
They did not come. Instead she was rescued by the most unlikeliest people.
The people from Dark Kingdom.
She remembered being rescued and then healed, she was then brought forth towards her new master and ruler among the rest of the survivors they had rescued. She had owed these people her life and allegiance after all, it was they that saved her. Not her own people or the Queen Serenity's loyal army but the enemy themselves. It was then that she had the opportunity to sneak a glance towards her new master. The moment she had laid her eyes upon him, her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught. She knew then she will serve no other than her prince.
Thinking of her past made her think about him and how empty the space beside her was making her frown. She knew where he would be and where he always seemed to be, he would be at his private chambers once again, away from prying eyes and most importantly away from her.
A sense of melancholy washed over her. She knew he was thinking about her again. Despite what has happened between them, despite the many nights she had comforted him, he would always pine for her.
Her hands once again unconsciously formed into fists as she thought of the woman that she will never be able to replace. The woman who will always takes precedence over her prince's black heart.
"I see that you're awake." a feminine voice interrupted her reverie.
Ariel couldn't help but growl. How dare this creature enter her room without being invited.
"What do you want Temperance?"
Temperance merely smiled. "Jin has requested a meeting of all the generals, I thought I should personally inform you rather than let an unfortunate servant gets hurt."
Ariel immediately manifested a fireball on her palm. "Then you should know that entering my chambers without my permission have grievous consequences," Then without another second to spare she launched the fireball at Temperance, whom easily deflected the attack only to find that Ariel was no longer in her bed but was now standing behind her. Her hand against her throat while her other hand was crackling with dark energy.
Temperance merely clucked her tongue in disdain. "Pathetic,"
Ariel growled as her hand around Temperance's throat tightened and the dark energy on her other hand increased, crackling with dangerous energy.
"You sound too confident for someone who is about to meet her demise," Ariel snarled as she sneered at Temperance's face.
Temperance didn't even wince at the danger she was in, instead she began to chuckle and then laughed, startling Ariel making her loosen her grip on her neck which proved to be her grave mistake.
Feeling the grip in her neck loosen, Temperance elbowed Ariel hard on the ribs before spreading her wings, effectively making Ariel release her hold on her as she staggered back, gripping her injured side.
Ariel was hunched over from the pain but was surprise that Temperance didn't advance her attack, instead she approached Ariel nonchalantly and tilted her chin up to be able to face her.
"Pathetic," Temperance once again spat at her before harshly letting go. She turned her back and began to walk away but stopped and briefly glanced backward. "Someone like you cannot defeat me. It is not in your destiny to do so," Temperance smirked, enjoying her verbal triumph and Ariel's pain.
"Bitch," Ariel called out to her, knowing that Temperance was right.
"Yare, Yare, We really can't leave you two alone without being supervised can we?" A sarcastic voice filtered in the air making the two women turn their attention from its source who was leaning against Ariel's door.
"Where's Tweedle dee?" Ariel sarcastically remarked as she tried her hardest to hide her discomfort. She will not be humiliated, not by Temperance or anyone else.
As though the other heard her question, another woman materialised from behind Ariel, sultry purring, "I think you didn't do much damage Temperance, such a pity."
Ariel hastily tried to swipe the other woman behind her but the other merely dodged and jumped away from her, laughing merrily as she did so. Ariel angrily turned to the other leaning against her door.
"Control your incestuous little toy before I get rid of her for you." she warned.
The other woman who had dark violet hair with a star beneath her right eye merely blew her a raspberry before seeking comfort from her brother, "Meenie!"
The man with olive green hair snarled at Ariel's direction before wrapping his arms around his sister. Patting her violet hair as he did so, "What did I tell you Nina about playing with Fire?"
Nina looked at her brother's green orbs before replying, "Make sure that it burns into ashes," she answered perkily.
"Enough, we should go to the control room to see what Jin wants," Temperance pointed out in her most authoritative voice.
The two siblings gave Ariel a cold glare before taking their leave, Temperance also made a move to follow but paused once again when Ariel called her attention, wanting to get the last word in.
"I bet you enjoyed that didn't you? Getting friendly with the other generals to gang up on me?" Ariel sneered.
"As much as I would like to answer yes to satisfy your wounded ego, I would have to say no." Temperance then turned around so she can face her adversary, "The world, in fact the whole galaxy does not revolve around you Ariel and as much as I would have liked to have watched the Gemini siblings throttle you I had to step in. After all, even though I don't like you I still have to work with you." Temperance responded back.
Ariel was left speechless, unable to retort a smart mouth reply to her rival.
"Get dressed, I'm pretty sure Jin had waited long enough for us," With those parting words, Temperance left not bothering to look back at the now speechless Ariel.
Deep within the confines of his room, the dark prince stood back as he admired his latest work. His dark room was adorned by many of the same works, faces of the same woman. Each work was detailed in such a way that anyone could have sworn that the woman in the canvas would reach out and come to life.
His latest one was just the same as the rest only this one made his dark heart beat erratically. The woman in the canvas, was leaning out from a balcony adorned by blood red roses. Her long dark hair flowing against the wind while she was adorned by a silky black gown. On the backdrop was a crimson horizon, the woman stood there as though waiting for some one.
"Wait for me," The dark prince whispered huskily towards his latest masterpiece. One that was inspired from what the dark magician of Nemesis had shown him. The urge to touch her and hold her was too powerful. He craved for her, craved to hear her laughter, her voice to be near her and bask in her presence.
"Soon my love, soon we will be together again and no one will tear us apart. I swear this." he murmured bitter sweetly against the woman in the canvas.
"Oh man, your mom sure is intimidating Ami," Ranma sighed once Ami's mother Kaoru left them alone to speak with Nabiki privately, leaving Ranma in Ami's company while he waited for them to return.
Ranma continued his daily routine of training while Ami watched him. Ami was impressed by Ranma's level of skill and was a little awed by Ranma's almost acrobatic and fluid movements.
"You have to forgive my mother Ranma-san, she's just a little shock from this morning," Ami apologised as she flushed pink, remembering the sight that greeted her. "Even I was rather surprised."
Ranma almost stumbled through mid kata at Ami's admission. "I already explained! It wasn't like that!" he tried to defend himself.
"I know Ranma-san but still," Ami reassured the pigtailed martial artist, though she was still a bit sceptical about the whole thing. After all, Ranma was a guy and her cousin was certainly attractive in her own right. Witnessing the two together especially with Nabiki partially dressed, one would also question the scene.
Ranma sighed once again and finished his last kata before sitting beside Ami.
"You're quite amazing Ranma-san." Ami praised the young man beside her, making him blush in response as she handed him a towel.
Ranma still felt rather awkward around Ami because of her rather similar physical appearance to Akane. He had to keep mentally reminding himself that the girl beside him was Akane's cousin and not the sexless tomboy he was used to that would normally deck him as a daily ritual.
"Naturally," he gave her a cocky grin, "I'm the best," making Ami giggle.
"I wish I can move the same way as you and Nab-chan," Ami sighed wistfully as she remembered how Nabiki gracefully performs her kata. She also couldn't help but wished she had the same talent in martial arts as him and Akane. If she had half their martial art talent, she would have been a more exceptional fighter as a senshi and not a mere person in the background. She knew one day, relying on their powers wouldn't be good enough and that she would have to physically fight to stand her ground.
"You can you know, why don't you join me and Nabiki?" Ranma asked her.
Ami bit her bottom lip, as much as would love to improve her fighting skills, she wondered if she would be able to take any of Ranma's training, especially the type of encouragement he taunts her cousin with, on top of that, her rendezvous with the other senshi about the mysterious attacks as well as keeping up with her studies will make it difficult for her to maintain a training regime, but she knew deep down she can work around all the chaos. She had done it before and she loved the challenge of pushing herself to her limits, but before she could reply back, Nabiki had joined them and answered for her.
"Because she has more sense than to be a muscle head brawler." Nabiki teased as she sat beside her cousin.
"If I'm a muscle head brawler, what does that make you my little student?" Ranma countered back and to make his point, he even ruffled Nabiki's hair playfully earning him a giggle from Ami.
"Touché Ranma-san, Touché," Ami praised Ranma earning her a disapproving pout from her cousin as she fixed her hair.
"Just who's side are you on Ami?" Nabiki said in mocked hurt.
"I'm on the winning side," Ami replied back cheerfully.
"So naturally on my side!" Ranma quickly.
"You're learning fast Saotome," Nabiki replied back with a wry grin. "There maybe some hope in you after all."
"Anyway," Ami interrupted, "How about we all go out and go shopping? School is about to start and we need to get some supplies."
Ranma groaned, "School?"
"Suck it up Saotome," Nabiki quipped before once again turning her attention towards her cousin. "That's a great idea Ami, I'm dying to go shopping!"
"I bet you are," Ranma sarcastically quipped, he just knew shopping with Nabiki would drain his wallet.
"What was that Saotome?" Nabiki raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing Nabiki," Ranma sighed as he mentally said goodbye to his money.
"Don't worry Ranma-san, Mother had given me money for all of us to buy our school supplies." Ami reassured the sullen pigtailed martial artist.
"Then what are we waiting for?" Nabiki stood up happily as she helped Ami up as well.
Ami, Nabiki and Ranma walked aimlessly around the mall. There wasn't any rush to go and buy their school supplies since Ami and Nabiki were intent on going window shopping while Ranma just followed the two.
"I hope you guys don't mind but a couple of friends of mine would like to meet you two," Ami hesitantly brought up as she browsed through a couple of racks of clothing with Nabiki while Ranma stood there looking rather bored and had a look on his face that literally says he's not happy being in a girl's fashion clothes store.
"Really now Ami-chan?" Nabiki said rather amused. She had already met two of Ami's friends and they were in her opinion, rather interesting. Nabiki was curious what other type of people did her normally shy and recluse cousin had somehow involved herself in. "I'll be happy to!"
"Can we go yet? Have you two found anything you like at all?" Ranma grumbled. He felt his masculinity was being drained by the amount of unnatural colours of fabric surrounding him.
Fuchsia? He asked himself silently when he read the colour printed on the shirt's tag. What on earth is fuchsia? but grabbed the shirt anyway and handed it to the nearest girl who happened to be Nabiki. "There, you found a shirt can we go now?"
"Saotome, you maybe a great martial artist but having an eye for fashion isn't your forte," Nabiki drawled nonchalantly, earning a giggle from her cousin Ami. "Why don't you just wait for us outside, you don't need to loom over us you know, unless you want to help us in dressing room" Nabiki couldn't help but teased.
Ranma stuttered slightly earning a giggle from Ami. Throwing his hands up in defeat he finally relented since he really didn't want to stay in the store any longer and be teased incessantly by Nabiki.
"Fine." Ranma sighed in relief as he briskly walked outside, earning him a couple of lingering looks from the store's patrons.
"Girl, your friend's boy is hot!" a girl Ami never knew whispered to her secretly. "Where ever did she find him?" the girl continued as she eyed Ranma's behind.
Ami was about to reply when Nabiki asked her to accompany her to the change rooms to check out some of the clothes she had chosen herself, leaving the inquiring girl rather frustrated.
Outside the store,
Somewhere else not too far from where Nabiki, Ami and Ranma at, where Aino Minako and Kino Makoto who were on their way to the food court to meet up with Tsukino Usagi and Hino Rei.
"So we will finally meet Ami's cousin?" Makoto asked rather impassively. She still doesn't believe Ami's cousin could be a potential threat to their secret identities.
"Yeah, apparently they're doing some shopping right now and they'll meet with us afterwards so we can all get our school supplies together." Minako answered.
"Do you really think she's really dangerous?" Makoto couldn't help but ask which Minako answered with a wry shrug of her shoulders.
"Don't really know but it helps us to become more cautious after all." Minako replied back before halting in mid stride, which prompted Makoto to pause as well. "Check it out Mako, hot guy at 12 o'clock," Minako grinned widely.
"Where?" Makoto piped up, but followed her companion's gaze. Their collective gaze landed on a young man with raven hair tied in a pigtail, wearing a blue casual shirt and dark jeans leaning rather casually against the wall opposite of KoKaii, one of the more popular stores for ladies new age fashion.
"What a hottie!" Minako exclaimed.
"He looks kind a like my old sempai," Makoto casually commented while her friend looked at her incredulously.
"To you, everyone looks like your old sempai," Minako drawled.
"No, weren't you listening at all? I said kind of! Doesn't mean he looks exactly like my old sempai!" Makoto defended herself almost heatedly. While she admits almost all the hot guys they meet and see makes her say such things, in truth, she's actually trying to compare the guys they have met or seen to her idolized sempai whom over the past few years, her own memory of his idolized image vanished. So now every time she sees hot guys she immediately tries to fit the guy's image to the blurred image in her mind, hoping that if the image fits then she had once again found him.
It was a sort of silly really. That's why she kept it to herself. After all, if her companion knew about her reasoning, she would probably be laughed at. Makoto sighed. Sometimes she wished she had Usagi's luck. She had managed to find her true love, their love that even transcends through time itself. Can she find her sempai again?
"Earth to Makoto? Makoto? Hey girl snap out of it and let's go and get to know the cutie before some floozy tries to get their claws into him!" Minako's voice drifted to her senses, almost making Makoto jump.
"Come on!" Minako pulled her arm and almost dragged her towards the pigtailed boy.
Ranma waited patiently as he waited for his companions. He earned giggles, flirtatious winks and whispers from the many young girls that passed and went to the store Nabiki and Ami were currently in. He sighed in exasperation the only good thing so far was at least none of the girls had approached him yet, but unfortunately his mind spoke to soon.
"Hi there," a cheery feminine voice greeted him, making him notice two girls standing before him. One long haired blonde that spoke to him and a tall brown haired girl, her hair tied up in a high ponytail with two jade balls adorning it. "Are you waiting for someone?" the blonde asked curiously.
Minako hoped against hope that the answer is no, or that the hunk before them is only waiting for his kid sister as she shopped inside the store.
"Actually…" Ranma began but paused when he recognised the voices of his companions walking out of the store.
"I don't really think I could wear it Nab-chan, it's a little revealing," Ami chastised her cousin. She was holding her purchased bag a little to tightly with a faint blush colouring her cheeks.
"Oh come on now Ami-chan, It looked great on you!" Nabiki reassured her cousin. "The matching mini skirt really did wonders for your legs too."
Ami's blush seemed to have deepened from her cousin's comment. She didn't really have plans on buying the coral pink halter neck with a bright yellow mini skirt. The colours itself was a bit too loud and eye catching but it went well together.
"Trust me Ami-chan, the harajuku look is so in at the moment. Don't you want to stand out and get noticed? I bet Ranma would think that the clothes that I chose for you would agree with me, even if he has no sense in fashion." Nabiki once again assured her, when she noticed Ranma with two girls. One blonde and the other brunette.
"I see you've been busy while we were gone, Ranma-kun," Nabiki couldn't help but tease the pigtailed martial artist.
"You know this is not what it looks like Nabiki," Ranma replied back exasperatedly. Making Minako sigh dejectedly.
"SO the hunk is already taken? Figures," Minako mentally told herself.
"Makoto? Minako?" Ami said as she recognised the girls Ranma was with.
"Ami!" both girls chorused as they greeted their friend.
"I take it you know them Ami-chan?" Nabiki asked curiously as she handed her purchase at Ranma. Who just looked defeated as he accepted them. He already knew that as the only guy, he will be obligated to carry the girls' bags. He was their pack mule as Nabiki repeatedly teased and reminded him.
Ami on the other hand, kept her bag. Embarrassed at the clothes Nabiki had purchased for her when she refused to buy it herself. Now she had no choice but to keep the clothes. "Yeah Nabiki, I'd like you to meet two more friends of mine, Aino Minako and Kino Makoto. Minako, Makoto, I'd like you to meet my cousin Tendo Nabiki and Saotome Ranma, my cousin Akane's fiancé," Ami introduced.
"It's nice to meet you," Nabiki greeted as she studied her cousin's friends. Again she found herself intrigued by the choice of friends her cousin had associated herself with. Then nudged Ranma to respond.
"Yeah," Ranma sheepishly replied as he spared Nabiki a slight glare. It wasn't that he was being rude or anything but he was caught up in his thoughts of dismay about being dragged into more feminine stores, seeing as he was the only guy with them. Add the fact that the blonde one Mina-something was looking real interested in him, along with her other friend. The blonde looked like she wanted to eat him or something.
"So this is your cousin?" Makoto couldn't help but ask in disbelief. Her thoughts were still too engrossed with Ami's forewarning about her, that she didn't realised she voiced out her concern. To her the girl didn't look like trouble at all and in fact looked almost harmless.
Nabiki gave her a sweet saccharine smile, "You sound surprised for someone I haven't met before," she couldn't help but ask in curiosity. It seems that this girl knows something about her which made her curious. She wondered what kind of stories her cousin had mentioned to this girl.
Makoto, upon seeing the other girl smile, felt slightly uncomfortable. Her instinct told her that this girl was dangerous as Ami had warned her to be and felt herself putting her mental guard up. This girl was quick to pick up her disbelief in her voice that even she was unaware of.
Makoto laughed awkwardly, "Well you just surprised me that's all. You're not really the type I pictured you to be," as she scratched the back of her head.
"Really? Just how did you picture me?" Now Nabiki really was curious about what stories Ami had been telling her friends about her.
Ami cleared her throat to interrupt them knowing that her cousin will probably manage to manipulate her friend into confessing all her secrets without her noticing and decided to intervene and steer the conversation to another direction. "Have you guys seen Rei or Usagi at all today? They said they will also coming here to meet us."
"Well knowing Usagi, I bet she had already dragged Rei to the food court and are most likely waiting for us there," Minako answered, finally leaving her gaze away from Ranma's handsome visage. "Are you guys done shopping already? Oh Ami what do you have in the bag!" Minako exclaimed as she noticed the bag Ami carried with keen interest.
Ami looked rather flabbergasted at Minako's exclamation and turned beet red at her cousin's gift for her. To her consternation, she saw her cousin grin widely and was about to inform her friend what was exactly in the bag when she once again cut her off, "Why don't we go and join Usagi and Rei at the food court then? Ranma-san I'm sure you must be tired,"
Ranma who had no idea what was going on simply agreed, "Thanks Ami, as a matter of fact I am. It's good to know that someone at least cares for my wellbeing," he replied back, making sure that Nabiki heard the last part.
Nabiki on the other hand simply shrugged off his complaint, "tell it to someone who cares Ranma-kun, besides you haven't really done anything really stressful now have you? You've only been waiting for us for about what? 5-10 minutes?"
"You've been in the store for almost an hour!" Ranma almost yelled at Nabiki.
"Actually Ranma-san, it's only been 45 minutes," Ami weakly corrected.
"That's still too long to be inside one store!" Ranma exclaimed rather aghast.
"Well we had to make sure we had our moneys worth that's all! Don't worry Saotome, If you'd like we'll model it for you later!" Nabiki grinned as she gave him a flirtatious wink, making Ami fluster at the thought, while Minako and Makoto watched the whole exchange rather closely.
Makoto coughed to get Ami and her companions' attention. "We really should meet up with Usagi and Rei,"
"Yeah, who knows what could happen to those two when left alone for too long?" Minako also quipped.
Without further prodding, the group began to head out towards the food court where Usagi and Rei would surely be.
At the Food court…
Usagi was trying in vain to convince Rei to buy some sweets at the ice cream parlour.
"I don't know how you can maintain your figure when you eat like an elephant!" Rei replied back dejectedly as Usagi continued to pull her arm towards the ice cream parlour.
"Don't be such a grouch Rei! No wonder you can't get a boyfriend!" Usagi retorted back.
"I am not a grouch! And would you quit pulling me? My arm is about to come off!"
This was how Ami's group found them as they argued against each other.
"Are you sure they're friends?" Ranma asked Ami, "It looks like they can't even stand each other!"
Nabiki simply shrugged and answered for Ami, "It's the same deal between you and Ryoga,"
"No it's not!" Ranma protested which Nabiki ignored.
"Usagi? Rei?" Ami called out to them to get their attention, immediately causing them to cease their argument.
"Ami, Minako, Makoto!," Usagi greeted, "And you brought your cousin and her fiancé too!"
"I'm not her fiancée!", "He's not my fiancé!," both Nabiki and Ranma replied back automatically to the pigtailed blonde which was ignored by Usagi.
"Don't worry about it, Usagi's like that," Rei explained to Ranma and Nabiki as she waved her hand as a gesture to dismiss Usagi's comment.
"Since we're all here, let's go in the ice cream parlour and grab ourselves some ice cream!" Makoto suggested that earned her a girlish squeal of delight from Usagi.
"Ami-chan, are you sure you're friends with her?" Nabiki curiously asked her cousin. She doubted the pigtailed blonde was sane. She was just too… childish.
Ami just smiled at her cousin. She had to admit, Usagi took a little time to get used to, especially her child-like, scatter-brained behaviour but she really was one of the most kind-hearted people she had ever met.
"Don't worry about Usagi, You'll get use to her," Rei once again commented, but the look on her face showed otherwise.
"Meanie!" Usagi merely shot back at Rei while giving her a raspberry.
Soon, once everything had calmed down, the group proceeded inside the ice cream parlour and ended up buying themselves some desserts. Ranma was intensely interrogated by Minako, determined to get to know him better, Rei and Usagi continued to argue while Ami, Makoto and Nabiki conversed about school and what courses Nabiki was interested in taking in college.
The day went by smoothly and before everyone knew it, it was time to go home.
Ami, Nabiki and Ranma walked home, happily chatting about the prospects of their new school unaware that something sinister lurked in the future.
I hope you have enjoyed the latest update. I know, I know, it took me long to update but I have been having problems finding the time to write and inspiration is hard to come by but I really do hope you liked this latest update. Which brings me to my next question;
Would anyone be interested into volunteering to become a sound board for this story?
Generally I just need someone to reassure me that this story still has a solid plotline and remain interesting. I have a general outline of the plotline already made for this story but As I read through it, it doesn't sound as appealing to me as I first wrote it. If worst comes to worst, I'm afraid this story will never be finished or no concluding ending so to speak and will be left unfinished.
I think that is all for now, until then I will try and update all my stories the best I can.
I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who has continued to support and review this story. Thank you very much. Your words of encouragement is what pushes me to continue to write and improve my writing. Once again I am grateful for all your kind and wonderful support. Until next time!